IMFC Chairman Tharman Shanmugaratnam in Washington with IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde and Treasurer Joe Hockey
The G20 meetings that wrapped up last week were worth $10 million to the Cairns economy.
Cairns Convention Centre general manager Ross Steele said that beyond the monetary value of the meetings, the G20 showed the world that Cairns has the infrastructure to hold major meetings.
The meetings, that lasted three days, attracted 2000 people to Cairns – 700 delegates, 700 Queensland Police, 300 international media and 300 support staff.
Steele said that despite the heavy security presence, the vibe in Cairns was upbeat, there were no incidents and there was minimal disruption to the community.
The ‘rockstar’ of the conference was International Monetary Fund managing director Christine Lagarde who oversaw the 900 papers that were presented. The purpose of the meetings was to table strategy to boost G20 countries’ GDP by 1.8 per cent by 2018. The value of this to the global economy is $2 trillion and will result in millions of jobs.
On a less serious note, delegates were treated to tropical produce including reef fish, an Aussie BBQ, smoked crocodile, fruits and sorbets and Cairns Convention Centre’s famous tropical lamingtons.
The Centre also brought in baby crocodiles, snakes and birds for the media to play with. The resulting photographs were distributed globally and, as Steele said, met Cairns’ objective of giving the delegates a truly regional experience that they could showcase to the world. Many of the visitors subsequently stayed on and visited the reef and surrounding areas.